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Showing posts from February, 2016

Curtis Brown Discovery Day 2016 - Part 4

Today I welcome author Elaine Everest to give us a few tips and share her experiences of Curtis Brown Creative’s Discovery Days.

I’ve attended two Discovery Days and have nothing but praise for the literary agents taking part and the organisational skills of the Foyles staff. With hundreds of wannabe novelists queuing to be ‘discovered’ we were treated courteously and efficiently.


The CBC website explains how we are to prepare for the big day and what to take with us. I recall the panic I felt when attending for the first time – pitch about myself and my book in thirty seconds? What should I tell this unknown agent I was about to meet? I’d worked as a writer for some time, although not having sold a novel. Should I mention my short stories, competition wins, anthology contributions, journalism, CW tutoring or perhaps my non-fiction work? My first thought was it would look as though I was showing off when, like many writers, it was just an accumulation of many year’s writing as I strugg…

Curtis Brown Discovery Day 2016 - Part 3

You may have picked up from the underlying trend in my blog posts that I am a worrier. It doesn’t matter what it is, I will worry about it. The more important something is, or the more eager I am, the more I worry about it.
As you can imagine I’m therefore doing rather a lot of worrying about the upcoming Discovery Day.
There are two things that concern me.  Ok so there are actually more than that, but I figure you haven’t got all day:
1, When I’m nervous I tend to babble. 
I fill any momentary silence with chatter. I go off on a tangent and ramble. This is all in spite of the little voice in my head telling me to shut up. I don’t.
2, When I’m nervous I talk quickly. 
It’s actually quite impressive how fast I can talk. Think back to the 90’s sitcom Blossom.  Remember Blossom’s best friend Six? The really chatty one who talks too fast. Yep, that’s the one. See my problem?
The pitch sessions are only 6 minutes which really doesn’t seem all that long. However, it’s amazing how much babb…

Curtis Brown Discovery Day 2016 - Part 2

Today I welcome Julie Stock, author of From Here To Nashville, to tell us a little about her hopes for the Discovery Day.

Luckily for me, my daughter is a member of Foyles' loyalty scheme and she was the one who told me about their Discovery Day. I signed up straight away before I could change my mind!
I have never pitched to an agent before and so I'm hoping that it will be good practice for me to prepare a pitch and to deliver it to a real-life agent without actually collapsing in a heap. I'm looking forward to being able to discuss my book with them for a few minutes afterwards as well and to see what their advice is about where to take my career from here.

I have been sending this new novel out to agents for a while now with some interest but no actual developments and so I have already prepared a query that seems to work quite well. I think I will use this to help me prepare my 30 second pitch and then I'll practise it and time it to make sure it's not too lon…

Curtis Brown Discovery Day 2016 - Part 1

I heard about the planned Curtis Brown Discovery Day back in December. I read the descriptions on their website with interest. A chance to meet an agent. A chance to get feedback. 
It sounded amazing.
It also sounded slightly terrifying.
I did a little research on past events and discovered, unsurprisingly, that tickets to this free event go fast. People travel miles for this opportunity. Not just from across the country, but from around the world.  If I wanted to be part of it, I was going to have to act fast.
I cleared my calendar for the 27th of February. I figured out my transportation method. Then I waited patiently for the tickets to be released. 
Well, maybe not patiently. That implies I sat back and waited for the arrival of an email or twitter notification to tell me to act. I didn’t. I couldn’t. It was too risky.  What if I missed it? What if I saw it hours after everyone else? The places would all be gone before I’d even applied.  Instead the Discovery Day website was adde…